Choose Safe Toys for Your Children

Be Aware of Dangerous Toys

This was the most elaborate Atomic Energy educational set ever produced, but it was only only available from 1951 to 1952," according to ORAU.org. The toy contained actual uranium ore.
This was the most elaborate Atomic Energy educational set ever produced, but it was only only available from 1951 to 1952," according to ORAU.org. The toy contained actual uranium ore.

Every time I hear that there is another toy recall, I think to myself - you've got to be kidding! How do these dangerous toys even get to the shelves and within reach of our curious children in the first place? Didn't the manufacturers realize that they were potentially harmful? Aren't there quality control measures to ensure this does not happen?

I personally know a sweet lady who is a mother of three little girls. When I was visiting with her one day, I noticed pictures of a little boy on the walls and asked who it was. She told me it was her son who had died at age three when a toy got stuck in his throat. His father had tried desperately to remove the lodged toy, but his attempts were fruitless, and the child succumbed. I was horrified and can only imagine how much they both suffered from this sad experience.

It is difficult to watch our children every minute, but we can make every attempt to remove any toys that could do harm from those that they play with every day. Your children also may receive toys as presents from well-meaning family members and friends for birthdays and holidays. How can you be sure that the toys you have in your home are safe for your children?

It is good to be aware of the CPSC US Consumer Product Safety Commission Homepage, which is where you can look to see if a particular toy has been recalled. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed so you will be able to see the latest recalls. If you know of any incident related to a toy injuring a child, you can also report it on this great site to help others.

Most recently the CPSC announced the recall of toy dark gun playsets that were sold at the Family Dollar Stores. Two children, aged 9 and 10 (both boys) put the soft darts into their mouths and accidentally inhaled them into their throats. Because of the suction cups, they were unable to get the darts removed and the children died of asphyxiation. Children of all ages can be harmed if they are not careful with toys.

Another suggestion is to pay attention to age recommendations on toys. They are put on the packages for a reason. You may think your child is old enough to play with a toy that is made for an older child, but toys with small or removeable parts can cause injuries or asphyxiation. Some older children also still like to put things in their nose, ears and mouths, so you are the best judge to know what is appropriate for them.

If a toy is broken, it is best to throw it away immediately. Be aware of what is in your toy box. If tiny or broken pieces of toys are present, clean them out.

If your child receives a toy as a present or you have purchased one that they wanted, you should try hard to break it (don't do it in front of the child, however). If you can yank on the stuffed animals eyes and they are loose, they could come off and get lodged in the child's throat. Try to think of ways in which your child may use it and test to see if the toy will fall apart. You can alsoo test all toy gifts since they were not given with the intention to harm the child. It is better to be safe than sorry.

If you buy secondhand or garage sale toys, test them to see that they are safe for your child. It is ultimately up to the parents to check out the toys their children play with to ensure their safety.

Teaching your children the proper way to play with their toys will also educate them so they can play safely. It is not just enough to tell them not to point a toy dart gun at another child. It is also important to think of other ways that the toy may be harmful to them.

It is not only cheap toys that have been recalled, but recently there have been several well-known toy companies that have recalled toys. Just as an example, Step 2 recalled Buggy Toys because the pin that holds the handle on loosens and it detaches posing a danger to a child. These toys have been sold for over ten years and were made in the US.

Another well-known toy maker, Gund, have recently recalled their Paperboard Baby Books because the styrofoam in the binding can detach and choke a child. These books were made in China and have been available since January 2009.

A company that makes wind chimes for babies recently recalled their Tiny Love Wind Chime product because a two-year-old baby punctured his cheek with a sharp rod that became exposed when he pulled the chime apart. These were also manufactured in China.

Another Step 2 toy that has been found to be a hazard is the Basic Rhythms Drums. The plastic clips that attach the drumsticks can break off and be a choking hazard.

Many parents may have these toys in their homes, but not be aware of the toy recalls. Parents purchase toys that are supposed to encourage development and positive growth in their children, either physically or mentally. It is best to study out the safety of toys beforehand to make sure you are investing in toys that will be safe for your children as well.


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Comments 22 comments

elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

sounds like we had similar growing up experiences BJ! Brothers!


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

My brother liked to show me worms!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Yes, me too BJBenson. We were pretty free to play with whatever. My brother used to scare me with real flying grasshoppers and frog legs. Yikes.


BJBenson profile image

BJBenson 6 years ago from USA

When I think of all the stuff I played with as a kid I should not be here at all. This is a gem! Great tips and info!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Thanks Ann - so glad that you stopped over. I missed you! Hope you are doing well in Hubland.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Bravo, Elayne and thanks for the tips!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Interesting comment. Common sense is getting to be a rare commodity it seems, but we can keep trying mwatkins.


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

Great hub! I was at a safety meeting once when a man actually stood up and announced that the hot water tap was"Hot" when he turned it on - he wanted it "fixed." It was suggested that he turn on the cold water tap first - that was the "solution." It's scary when toys are recalled, but I am amazed when parents don't take good old fashioned common sense into consideration in some toy purchases. Your alerts to parents are excellent-especially on used toys! Thank you for a great hub!


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

@loriamoore - yes, I remember wearing those metal roller skates with keys - certainly they should have been banned because I have a few scars from those. Lucky we made it through our childhood alive.

@Pamela99 - Yes, I didn't even go into every day things around the house that are dangerous - that would take another hub.

@LianaK - sorry to hear about another toy scare - it makes you feel uneasy as a parent to know your child has been playing with a toy for some time and now they say it is dangerous.


LianaK profile image

LianaK 6 years ago

Wonderful hub and very useful for us young mothers. There are so many stories out there about harmful toys. Just last week there was another cadmium scare on play jewelry. Just not cool, especially when my little girl loves to play with kid jewelry :(. Thanks for sharing the very useful information.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

Elayne, This is an excellent hub as things can go wrong so quickly when a child starts to choke or get something tangled around their throat. Safe toys are really important and this hub covered the topic very well. Thumbs up!


loriamoore 6 years ago

It's funny because back in the day, we played with stuff that was unsafe without even knowing it wasn't safe. Glad they have standards now.


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

Hope it helps HealthyHanna. Who knew, right?


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

Good review of toys. Thanks


elayne001 profile image

elayne001 6 years ago from Rocky Mountains Author

I guess this is a topic many are concerned about. Thanks to all for your comments. Children are precious gifts and we should try to make it a safer world for them.


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Elayne, Wonderful informative well presented hub! This is very helpful! Thank you for sharing, Peace & Blessings!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Well-presented hub, Elayne, with valuable information for the parents of young children.

Nellieanna - are you still eating roses? Try ice cream. Much more satisfying despite the higher calories.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 6 years ago from TEXAS

This is such a valuable article, Elayne! My first thought was that certainly parents can judge if the size of a toy or its removeable parts is small enough to get swallowed by a toddler. We know thay always put everything in their mouths. We tend to trust that life-threatening toys or objects aren't being sold as appropriate for small ones, but we have to be the guardian of what is allowed within their reach.

I say "we" when, in fact I haven't had a toddler in my care for so long that mine are now grandparents! But I'm now thinking I should forward your hub to them and to the parents of those of my great-grandkids who are still little & in danger of the many features of toys which could be lying around them.

One wonders how we managed to survive our babyhood sometimes. We didn't have so many complicated toys but we used anything within reach to play with and surely to taste! I loved to eat flowers when I was little. I liked roses - which are safe to eat if they don't have pesticides on them. LOL. But my town had banks of oleander bushes everywhere and somehow I never sampled any of those! They have lethal poisons, especially the leaves and I sometimes ate rose leaves too. Nowadays we're being cautioned about the stuff they spray on strawberries and blueberries as potential dangers for ourselves and our kids!

I guess it boils down to the fact that we live in a dangerous environment and human industry (and greed) seems to be pouring more and more dangers into it constantly!

Thanks for the reminder, Elayne! Hope many folks read and heed it!


suny51 profile image

suny51 6 years ago

yes one has got to be vary careful about what toys the kids are having to play with,the toys may some times be very damaging with their designs,colors etc,a useful information.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 6 years ago from UK and Mexico

Beautifully presnted article, well done!!


Thamisgith profile image

Thamisgith 6 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

It's a real dilemma for parents. You don't want to wrap your kids in cotton wool, but there are so many hazards around. And of course, you can't watch them all the time either.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for your thoughtful and ingteresting hub.

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